Homemade Nando's Peri Peri Chicken (Copycat)

August 8, 2021
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This Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Recipe has the classic lemony, spicy flavor and looks as good as it tastes! Not to mention it can be made in under an hour and is much healthier than takeaway!

Who doesn’t love Nando’s peri peri chicken? It’s spicy, garlicky, and has that acidic lemon zest. And now you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home! All you need is chicken, African Bird's Eye Chili or Thai chili, and a bunch of other pantry ingredients.

Peri Peri Chicken (Nando's Copycat)Photo By Canva
Taste Score: %90
Difficulty Easy
Servings 6 people
Preparation 40 mins
Cooking 15 mins
Total 55 mins

Tips

  • This recipe yields about 1 ½ cups of seasoning mix. If any marinated broth remains, feel free to use it to marinate grilled vegetables and tofu, or mix it with mayonnaise to make a dipping sauce.
  • For ultra flavorful peri peri chicken, roast the peppers before use and also add roasted red or yellow onions to the food processor.
  • If you're unable to find any African bird's eye chilies, make your Nando's copycat peri peri chicken with Thai chilies or red serrano peppers. If you can find either, use any other spicy peppers available.
  • For a less spicy peri peri chicken, remove the seeds from the peppers before adding them to the food processor and add the cayenne powder as desired after taste testing.
  • When adding spice to taste, keep in mind that cooking will weaken the spice and always add slightly more than you like.
  • If looking for a stronger peri peri flavor, brush the chicken with leftover marinade after taking it off the stove or grill.
  • To barbecue this peri peri chicken instead, char it on a well-greased grill over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Then, turn and cook for 40-45 minutes with the barbecue lid closed, flipping occasionally.
  • Cover and refrigerate the chicken to marinate it, and leave it out for about 20 minutes at room temperature before frying to allow for proper cooking.
  • Feel free to use this healthy peri peri chicken recipe to make peri peri chicken pizzas and burgers.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. To make copycat Nando’s marinade, start by adding the red bell pepper, chilies, cloves of garlic, white vinegar, olive oil, oregano, paprika, rosemary, salt, sugar, parsley, and lemon juice to a food processor. Then pulse to purée until no large chunks remain.
  2. Transfer this purée to a saucepan and simmer for twenty minutes after adding the bay leaves.
  3. Remove the bay leaves after the 20-minute mark and allow the purée to cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Once cool, pour the purée back into the food processor and blend again until completely smooth. Optionally, add ¼ cup mayonnaise at this stage for an extra creamy marinade.
  5. Marinate the horizontally cut chicken breasts in this sauce for a couple of hours or overnight for super spicy Nando's copycat peri peri chicken, or just coat and cook right away.
  6. To fry the chicken, add olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat and drop the chicken in. Make sure to keep the individual pieces separate and avoid overcrowding.
  7. Cook the chicken on one side till it gets a nice sear (about three minutes), and flip the pieces over to sear the other side. Once both sides are nicely seared, reduce the heat to low and let the chicken cook through for 1 to 2 more minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F.
  8. Then, serve it and enjoy.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Peri Peri Chicken (Nando's Copycat)
Serves 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories386
% Daily Value*
Protein 32.3 g64.6%
Total Fat 26.15 g33.5%
Cholesterol 96.82 mg32.3%
Sodium 487.65 mg21.2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

What Is Peri Peri Chicken?

Peri peri chicken is a dish made by marinating chicken in a sauce made from African Bird’s Eye Chilli, a chili pepper measuring 50,000 - 100,000 Scoville units in hotness and called ‘Peri-Peri’ (literally pepper-pepper in Swahili) because of it.

The dish’s origins can be traced back to the 15th century when Portuguese settlers in Africa came across African bird's eye chili and made the first 'Peri-Peri sauce'. Since then, the dish has been popular worldwide, and while traditionally made by barbecuing whole young spatchcocked chicken, it is now also made by frying marinated chicken breasts or thighs.

How to Make Perfect Peri Peri Chicken?

To make the perfect Portuguese peri peri chicken, start by making the peri peri marinade. Add red bell pepper, chilis, garlic cloves, white vinegar, olive oil, oregano, paprika, rosemary, salt, sugar, parsley, and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until puréed. Simmer this purée for 20 minutes on a saucepan after adding bay leaves, and once cool, blend again until smooth.

Marinate the cut chicken in this smooth sauce and fry over medium-high heat in olive oil till both sides are nicely seared. Decrease the heat and allow the chicken to cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F . Then, dish out.

What to Serve with Peri Peri Chicken?

Peri peri chicken is popularly served with roasted corn on the cob and spicy rice like Spanish or Portuguese rice. You can also pair your peri peri chicken with sweet potato mash, macho peas, fries, coleslaw, salad, couscous, ratatouille, and garlic bread.

As for beverages, peri peri chicken goes particularly well with light and fruity red wines like Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, and Valpolicella Classico that complement the spiciness of the chicken well. But low tannin red wines from the Douro and Dão region of Portugal and crisp white wines with just a hint of sweetness like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Prosecco also work splendidly.

Here are some delicious recipes you can serve with Peri Peri Chicken Sauce:

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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